Macroevolution Claims Investigated
Two scientific papers recently used the word “macroevolution” in their titles. Did they actually point to cases of natural increase in information or function?
- Diatoms: A paper in PNAS by Finkel et al.1 was called, “Climatically driven macroevolutionary patterns in the size of marine diatoms over the Cenozoic.” All it discussed was the sizes of diatoms as a function of biodiversity and ocean temperature.
- Island Biodiversity: Douglas Erwin wrote a Perspectives piece in Science last week,2 entitled “Macroevolution: Seeds of Diversity.” It is more a theoretical treatment of opposing evolutionary hypotheses (niche construction and classical gradualism) in the context of adaptive radiation on island communities, than an examination of any particular case of a plant or animal evolving into a different kind of organism. Erwin proposes that biodiversity itself generates biodiversity: “Simply put, the reason the tropics have so many species is that they have so many species” or, “future diversity is a function of current diversity.”
He continued by speculating that runaway biodiversification might be capped by periodic mass extinction events. He concluded, “If periodic disturbance does provide a major control on diversity, then niche generation may be an ongoing process, more rapid during macroevolutionary transitions, but providing a regular source of new adaptive possibility until the next crisis occurs.” Overall, macroevolution in his article was assumed, not demonstrated.
1Finkel et al., “Climatically driven macroevolutionary patterns in the size of marine diatoms over the Cenozoic,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online before print June 14, 2005, 10.1073/pnas.0409907102.
2Douglas H. Erwin, “Macroevolution: Seeds of Diversity,” Science Vol 308, Issue 5729, 1752-1753, 17 June 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1113416].
Mere microevolution masquerading as macroevolution by mangling the meanings of messages. Microevolution is not under dispute. If macroevolution is a fact, Darwinists, give us an example instead of “ingenious speculation but not much rigor” (see next entry). There should be millions of examples. Why is this so hard to demonstrate? A bluffing assertion is not a sign of rigor, or of vigor. In science, it’s more a sign of rigor mortis.